Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin

Find this book
(Fantasy) Nineteen original stories about djinn (aka genies) in the past, present, and even the future. (107,480 words; Time: 5h:58m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"The Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories," edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin, published on by .

There are twenty stories in this anthology, of which nineteen are original. Of those 19, we recommend three (which is average) and recommend against 2 (average would be 5), which makes this anthology solid but not exceptional.

Possessing Every Djinn

These stories explore a wide range of concepts. Six have traditional, evil djinn in them. Six have good djinn. In six stories, a djinn is the protagonist. In four, the djinn are actually the victims. And three have no djinn at all.

They run the gamut of genres as well. Two are high fantasy, two are historical fantasy, three are actually future fantasy, and the rest are set in the modern world. The modern stories divide evenly, with six set in the west and six set in the Muslim world.

Specially Recommended

In Bring Your Own Spoon, by Saad Z. Hossain, we meet Imbi, the nicest djinn ever. Times are hard—even for djinn—but Imbi really wants to open a restaurant with his friend Hanu. It’s illegal, they live in a polluted, dystopic hell, and almost no one has any money, but they go for it anyway.

Recommended

Majnun, by Helene Wecker, introduces us to Zahid, the best djinn exorcist in modern Morocco, who finds a djinn who knows him all too well.

The Sand in the Glass is Right, by James Smythe, teaches us that it is very hard to make a deal with a djinn that can’t be twisted into something horrible—no matter how clever you think you are.

Other Reviews: Search Web, GoodReads.com
Mahvesh Murad Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB
Jared Shurin Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

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5 & 4 Stories: 3;  Estimated Time: 46m (14K words)
Recommended By Stories: 3;  Estimated Time: 46m (14K words)
Total Stories: 20 (19 reviewed by RSR);  Estimated Time: 4h:42m (85K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

Bring Your Own Spoon by Saad Z. Hossain  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Dystopic Fantasy) In a future, polluted Dhaka, Hanu makes friends with a djinn, and they decide to open a restaurant—even though almost everyone eats synthetic food.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

Majnun by Helene Wecker  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Modern Fantasy) In modern Morocco, Zahid gets called for the most difficult exorcism jobs. This one is going to be a doozy.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
The Sand in the Glass is Right by James Smythe  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Horror) You can force a jinn to grant you a wish, but they always find a way to twist it. Simon Bond figures out a wish they can’t pervert. Or so he believes.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4

Rating: 3 -> Average

Black Powder by Maria Dahvana Headley  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Horror) The Kid wants to the other kids in high school to pay attention to him, so he steals a rifle. The rifle he steals is much more than just a gun, though.
Duende 2077 by Jamal Mahjoub1  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Dystopic Mystery) In future London, Dhaka investigates a murder, but people in the Caliphate that runs the city have an unhealthy interest in it.
Emperors of Jinn by Usman Malik  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Contemporary Fantasy) Four well-to-do Pakistani kids spend the summer together trying to summon a djinn.
Glass Lights by JY Yang  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Modern Fantasy) Mena is a Malaysian woman working in China. Family history says her grandmother was a djinn, but that doesn’t seem to help her much in her office, where others shun her.
History by Nnedi Okorafor  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Contemporary Fantasy) She’s a great witch and a great entertainer, but tonight’s performance is going to be a night to remember.
Hurrem and the Djinn by Claire North  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Historical Ottoman Fantasy) High officials in the Empire fear that the sultana has used djinns to bewitch the sultan, and they ask Davud to find a way to break her spell.
Message in a Bottle by K.J. Parker  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(High Fantasy) The narrator seeks a plague cure a long-dead scholar may have left in a bottle. Or it might be a new kind of plague. But how to decide?
Queen of Sheba by Catherine Faris King1  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Historical Fantasy) In 1953 Los Angeles, 12-year-old Juanita starts seeing visions. Aunt Opal is a little strange, but she’s the only one Juanita trusts enough to talk to.
Reap by Sami Shah1  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Horror) Grant works on a drone team for the US airforce in New Mexico. They see something in Pakistan that’s hard to believe. Even when they start seeing it at home too.
The Congregation by Kamila Shamsie1  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Arabian Fantasy) Qasim meets a djinn boy his age at the mosque one morning, and he becomes obsessed with finding him again.
The Jinn Hunter’s Apprentice by E.J. Swift  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Future Fantasy) The Ganymede mission is stuck in Mars orbit until a jinn hunter can come and exorcize the jinn that are haunting it.
The Spite House by Kirsty Logan  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Modern Fantasy) The djinn are all mortal now, but when Esha goes out at nights, she dreams of having some of the power her father talked about.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

A Tale of Ash in Seven Birds by Amal El-Mohtar  Time: 04m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Poetic Fantasy) The narrators keep changing form to evade attack by the wizard-nation.
How We Remember You by Kuzhali Manickavel  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Modern Fantasy) In 1984 India, four Muslim teenagers befriend, then betray a young djinn—and then obsess over it.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement


Rating: Not Rated

Authenticity by Monica Byrne  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Mainstream) A woman sneaks out to watch her boyfriend make a porn movie.
The Righteous Guide of Arabsat by Sophia Al-Maria1  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
(Horror) Khalid is sure his new wife has been possessed by a djinn.

Rating: Not Reviewed

Somewhere in America by Neil Gaiman  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories 2017
Not reviewed by Rocket Stack Rank (reprint).
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [] 


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